Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Worry Beads Are Well Adapted for Parkinson's Disease

I have PD and I worry...

Worry stones are well adapted for Parkinson's disease. I can just put it in my left hand - you know, the one with the tremor - and not be concerned about the quiet or the loud ways of using it - I can just rub it with my thumb to defocus the tension. The problem is my unwillingness to take the stones out when I feel stressed...which is pretty much all of the time.

Over five years ago I was diagnosed with PD. In the beginning it didn't change my life very much. I could still work around the house a bit, still drove everyday, rode my bike through the park, and most importantly I still had a full time job. My appearance did not change right away and I was getting medication and alternative treatment but not the standard levadopa PD meds.

Life was fairly good even though there were some dark clouds building up. On bad days I worried. On good days I could see us living like this for years without much change. Now I know that was kinda foolish but who knows what the correct moves are when you are dealing with a chronic incurable disease. I've always thought that you usually just get one shot at it but it now seems that you get a chance every day if you mentally touch the worry beads.

Its very important to keep a positive attitude even when the whole world is going crazy. I've found I can't do it very well. Too much news about swine flu, bank failures, foreclosures, unemployment, health care disputes, plane crashes and new wars keeps me anxious and worried. Too many new symptoms or simple changes to my body scare me and make it harder to fight back against the disease. Too much knowledge makes me worry about everything. I focus on things that don't bring a laugh or a smile. Am I afraid to smile? Afraid that will bring bad luck?

My wife tells me I have not changed much, just a few new symptom's but also some that some are better. But I worry about the future, finances, progression. I am impatient for positive symptom relief and even when it appears, the triumph is short-lived because I move on to another worry.

Even I can see that my basic problem is that I have lost faith with the idea that eventually a treatment will be discovered (in time to help me.) I realize that a tremendous amount of Parkinson's research is taking place all over the world and that it is very possible that a breakthrough will happen soon. That with the right funding, trials will go forward and announcements will be made. I suppose it's even possible that it has already been discovered but not available yet because of the money involved in getting approval for new medications and treatments.

Yes I stress too much about things I can't change and I spend too much time on the Internet discovering new worries. I'd love to be working again and contributing what I know about construction or the supermarket business; but that doesn't look promising. Worrying kept me busy. I know that I am sublimating my concerns about the rest of my life by worrying about everything else but it's difficult to stop.

Worry beads are supposed to cause the litany of worries to flow out. I am learning that I am better off using that worry stone in my pocket, stroking it, calming my fears and letting the stress ease itself away.


  1. i care for my dad so am around him a great deal and find that talking candidly about side affects with some one close can be great for taking away worry and because i take a deep interest in it can give soom good input

  2. We all could take a lesson from what Anonymous wrote - being able to talk about side effects, worries and fears can be very important. Not just for the person with PD but also the caregiver.


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